When I was 17, one of the worst things I could have ever imagined then, happened to me.
I did so badly in my class 12 pre-board exams, that I was kept back from taking the All-India Board exams. These are exams that grade 12′s across the entire country take at the same time, the results of which dictate the college you get admission to, upon which rests your entire future.
Or so I was taught to believe.
My dad could have talked the School Principal into letting me appear for the exams, but he decided it would do me good to repeat the year. His military training and sense of integrity led him to believe that was the best thing for me.
I was so humiliated I wanted to die.
But somehow, I managed to scrape my pride together and go through class 12 again, ending the year with 74% marks and 3 new best friends, who till date are my fribblings (friends+siblings). A happy ending of sorts.
Which isn’t the case for so many students in India who become household names in the national papers for committing suicide because the pressure of getting the highest marks possible is too much to bear and the competition for getting into a good college is so intense it can make James Dean look like a puppy.
I was luckier than them. Luckier than the friend’s friend who hung herself a few years later for getting 85% instead of the 90% that was expected of her.
When I think of those souls, it makes my heart tear apart.
Nothing should be worth that high a price.
Somehow, through all the ups and downs in my life, and there have been many, I soldiered on. I survived.
Untill.. it was different.
And one day, I was thriving.
This didn’t happen overnight, but slowly, slowly, I realised my life had changed. From thoughts of “I wish I was never born” in my intense teen years to “OMG I am so excited to be alive!”, it’s been one heck of a ride.
It occurred to me that my life was a gift.
And one day, I saw that it was bigger than me.
I had transformed my life into something to cherish by staying true to my values, my dreams, my core beliefs, my inner drummer girl. It became my compelling mission to consciously, and with awareness and courage, honour my life and live it my way.
Your life my friend, is such a rare gift.
A blessing. A treasure.
How are you treating it?
Are you allowing yourself to be rich, beautiful, joyous, happy? Are you living lusciously, true to your heart’s desires?
Or are you trudging along, heaving sighs of resignation, thinking “if only this or if only that” and letting fear whip your ass into staying in a job you’re sick of, a relationship that isn’t serving you, stifling your voice so as not to offend anyone, focusing on being liked vs being authentically you or delaying launching your new course, ebook or product cos if no one wanted it, it would crush you?
Are you still labeling yourself as stupid, not enough, unworthy, flawed, imperfect, victimised, restricted, afraid, stuck? YEAH-BUTing yourself because you still don’t GET it?
That you are SO much more than your thoughts, your beliefs, your emotions?
Every now and then, along comes someone like Caroline Casey to remind me just how far I’ve come, how blessed and lucky I am to be here, living my dream and making a difference in this world.
And, I hope, to show you how lucky YOU are to be in the body and life you inhabit.
To inspire you with her indomitable spirit.
To teach you that no matter how bad you think you have it, you don’t.
To imprint upon you the power within.
The Power of Choice.
The Power of Belief.
If you’re just surviving, you’re believing in the wrong thing.
To thrive, to shine, to SPARKLE, to be full of mojo, to explode with joy and aliveness, purpose and passion, there’s just one thing you need to do.
The thing that took me till a few years ago to learn.
You MUST Believe in yourself.
You MUST BELIEVE in your dreams.
From the bottom of your heart, you must BE YOU.
(Ps: If it wasn’t for the amazing story she shares, I’d still watch it for her gorgeous Irish accent & love of country music!)